Elderly Care in IrelandRichard Jones
Recently, we took a trip to Ireland to visit a relative. Far away from Dublin, we travelled to the centre of the country to the nursing home where Nana lives. In case you’re not aware, the care laws are different in Ireland. If a person is elderly and they are struggling to live alone, there is not a great deal of home care available. Instead, the government funds a place for that person in a nursing home.
The home itself was beautiful; a giant, stately manor of a place. When we entered, a humongous chandelier hung in the centre of the room, directly above a baby grand piano that was central to the chairs around the room. We also noticed a chapel off to the left, equipped with plenty of seats and Mass every week.
Eventually we located Nana, in her room, around the back of the building. We visited with her for a few hours and then went to get the car. After lunch, we took her into the town and she deliberated for a while over red frames for her glasses; eventually deciding they’d look great with her new red shoes.
Next we drove through the countryside, as she likes to look around the places she used to walk through so regularly. Our final stop was to her old house. Her daughter lives nearby and she came out to chat with us. Nana said she didn’t want to get out of the car, she was happy just looking.
Nana’s career (when she was younger) was the postmistress: a reputable and stable job. She was often in the shop, meeting with the townspeople and assisting them. As she sat in the car, when each person walked past, they all stopped and chatted to her for a long time. It was a joy to behold, such warmth and friendliness from people who remember her from the Post Office.
“The lady who lives there,” Nana said, pointing to the house in between her old one and the Post Office; “she lives in there still. She 95.” Nana is only 85 and no doubt wants to be at home. After our visit, we felt a little sad. Sad for Nana, that she can’t be where she really wants to live, but also sad for anyone in Ireland who needs assistance and is therefore robbed of the chance to remain in their own home.
We talked about her moving here, living with her other daughter, who has already told us that she would happily move her in tomorrow. Nana shook her head. Ireland was home and that’s it; “I was never one for travelling!” she told us.
The country itself was beauteous to behold and extremely peaceful. However, it seems a shame that their care funding system does not include more choice. Live In Care would be the perfect solution for Nana and it would cost the same amount as her care home, if not, slightly more economical.
By Rachael Jones